Representing a scene and its constituent objects from raw sensory data is a core ability for enabling robots to interact with their environment. In this letter, we propose a novel approach for scene understanding, leveraging an object-centric generative model that enables an agent to infer object category and pose in an allocentric reference frame using active inference, a neuro-inspired framework for action and perception. For evaluating the behavior of an active vision agent, we also propose a new benchmark where, given a target viewpoint of a particular object, the agent needs to find the best matching viewpoint given a workspace with randomly positioned objects in 3D. We demonstrate that our active inference agent is able to balance epistemic foraging and goal-driven behavior, and quantitatively outperforms both supervised and reinforcement learning baselines by more than a factor of two in terms of success rate.

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